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Patient receives Human Touch Award for volunteering his time at St. Michael’s

Toronto, April 24, 2015

By Melissa Di Costanzo

Randy Hansuld,Michael McCormick and Lisa Joya
From left, Randy Hansuld, RBC's director of Public Sector Markets, Greater Toronto region, Human Touch Award winner Michael McCormick and nominator Lisa Joya. (Photo courtesy of Cancer Care Ontario)

Michael McCormick, a kidney patient at St. Michael’s Hospital, received a Human Touch Award recognizing the countless hours he has spent helping participants in the hospital’s kidney patient support group better understand and cope with life on dialysis.

The awards are presented annually by Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Renal Network to cancer and kidney health-care professionals, providers and volunteers from across the province for their dedication to providing exceptional and compassionate patient care.

In addition to his own busy dialysis schedule, McCormick champions improvements to care such as more patient-centred scheduling for nocturnal dialysis. He’s also part of the Kidney Foundation’s Independent Dialysis Decision-Making Support Volunteer program, which prepares volunteers to help patients living with chronic kidney disease.

He has also worked for the Kidney Foundation of Canada in its Peer Support program, and has represented patients on many Ontario Renal Network and Kidney Foundation of Canada focus groups, and other initiatives such as the most recent Ontario Renal Plan II development.

He has also provided countless hours to Ontario Renal Network projects, such as its home hemodialysis manual, and allowed ORN to film his home dialysis as part of this project.

McCormick came to the hospital’s renal program in 1987, as an 18-year-old. In 1998, he started the St. Michael’s home dialysis program.

“Michael uses his own experiences to help transform the lives of others,” said Jill Campbell, program director of the hospital’s diabetes comprehensive care program. “On behalf of staff and patients, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to tirelessly give back to the hospital community.”

McCormick said receiving the 2015 ORN Human Touch Award for volunteering is a tremendous honour. “I used to believe that maintaining my own health and living a productive life were my benchmarks of success,” he said. “With so many years of experience in the renal system, I have come to realize that volunteering my time and experience can have a tremendous positive impact on other patients that are starting on their chronic kidney disease journey. I look forward to continuing to build on this extremely important work with ORN, the Kidney Foundation of Canada and St. Michael’s Hospital.”

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.